The global container market may grow by more than 8 percent this year, according to A.P. Moller-Maersk CEO Nils Smedegaard Andersen.
This would exceed the 6 percent expansion that Maersk Line predicted only 11 weeks ago.
“We’re quite optimistic on the growth rate, we’re talking 6 to 8 percent, but at the end of the year we may actually see it’s been growing faster than that,” Andersen said Wednesday in an interview with Bloomberg News in Davos, Switzerland, where he was attending the World Economic Forum.
Maersk lifted its earnings forecast for 2010 on Nov. 10, saying freight rates and volumes will help the Copenhagen-based company record the highest profit in its 106-year history after posting a loss a year earlier when trade volumes contracted. Andersen said on Jan. 24 that while the debt crisis slows the recovery of the U.S. and European economies, global trade will continue to increase and that Maersk is able to add capacity on short notice.
The container shipping market will grow by about 7 percent annually in the next five years as “stability” returns to the industry, Drewry Shipping Consultants said in an Oct. 11 report.
If the container market grows by 6 percent to 8 percent this year, Maersk will be able to keep its market share without having to order more ships to boost capacity, Andersen said today. “We don’t think we’ll lose any market share this year.”
Maersk has a global market share of 14.4 percent, based on container-fleet capacity, according to Alphaliner.
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“We gained a lot of market share in 2009, when the markets were bad,” Andersen said. “We gave some of that back in 2010 because we simply didn’t have capacity.”
The CEO said he isn’t worried about a so-called double-dip recession. “Of course there may be some issues in the developed market, slow growth because of lack of competitiveness, but the whole world will grow pretty fast,” Andersen said.
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